Up $18K again, money thoughts, and new baby incoming – August 2022 Freedom update

This upcoming month, we’ll be gearing up for the birth of our second son! Last month was all about the baby shower and getting the nursery together (as much as possible – lol oof). I’ve been meaning to get this update out for the past few days. 🥵

June was a hard month for the stock market where we saw the potential bottom mid-month. And then, the last two weeks of July brought a scorching hot bear market rally.

Because of the gyrations, I keep hovering around the ~$240K mark and am currently level set from where I was a couple of months ago.

August 2022 Freedom Update

Cheers to bear market rallies!

But it wasn’t without significant ups and downs, personal expenditures, and trying to keep up with all the transitions. I’m doing a lot of freelance work on the side to afford everything.

Next month, I’ll kick off four months of parental leave when the new baby is born. So for the next few weeks, we’re getting as prepared as possible.

I feel bad that I haven’t posted more travel-related content in so long. First there was Covid, now it’s nearly time for the new baby. It’ll be a while before I travel again, but I can’t wait to travel with our children. That’ll be a whole new adventure.

For now, I’m still working on financial goals that’ll allow that travel to happen down the road. After all, this journey is about having choices and freedom to do what I love most in this world: travel to new places.

August 2022 Freedom update

I kept my 401k contributions at 30%. Try as I may, furnishing the nursery and paying the midwife ate into any extra that I would’ve used to pay down my 0% credit card balance or invest in one of my brokerage accounts.

I anticipate using the next few months to catch up financially. Really, we just want a smooth birth and that’s all I’m thinking about.

I’m hoping the stock market will continue its recovery (as we all are). But if it’s going to drop further or if we find ourselves in a shallow recession – well, I’ll be nice and distracted so… bring it on.

New baby stuff

Yes, kids are expensive. Having another butt to wipe and mouth to feed (the true circle of life) is no joke. I now understand why people label themselves as SINK (single income no kids) or DINK (double…).

a boy smiling at camera

That smile tho 😻

As much as it costs, god, it’s so worthwhile. There is no feeling in the world like looking into your son’s eyes. Warren is so bright and kind already. He’s a very “shiny” person.

But yeah, we wanted to make sure things are as “turn-key” as possible when the big day arrives. We’re stocked up on diapers, baby wipes, clothes, and allll the rest (so many accessories!).

The new baby will surely affect our finances, too. In ways I expect and for things I don’t even know how to include yet. So we’ll see. All I know now is that we’re super excited and can’t wait to meet our new little guy.

Yeah, I need more money

My employer has apparently instituted a freeze on pay raises. So while I had a glowing annual review, all I got was a “good work” and a pat on the back. Of course, inflation is rampant and I have aforementioned new baby on the way – things that back pats don’t pay for.

To make ends meet, I’ve been picking up freelance work on the side, but this pace isn’t sustainable – short-term or long-term.

My company’s parental leave policy is amazing. But by the time I return, it will have been two years at the same salary with no raise (and as much work as ever, of course). A lot has changed in the last two years, both personally and in the world, so I need to either:

  • Go completely freelance and pick up more work
  • Get a meaningful raise at my current job
  • Find a new job that pays more
a child holding a straw and a toy lawn mower

Those little juice boxes aren’t free

The goal is to make enough to cover the increased costs plus a little extra to save on the side. I’ll be putting some energy toward exploring these options in the next few months because let’s be real, no one wants to feel like they’re stagnating as costs keep going up, up, up.

I will say, having kids is motivating as hell to make more money. I’m an excellent and dedicated worker, but I’ve even more dedicated to my family.

Mark this as pending. And if anyone knows of a senior copywriting position a financial or healthcare service company or agency… let me know. 😉

By the numbers

I first hit $240K in November 2021. Since then, I’ve been kind of dancing around this number – and the stock market’s rough first half of 2022 did no one any favors.

In August 2021, I was at $217K, so I’m up over $20,000 year-over-year. My returns are down, but when they come roaring back I’ll be ready, having bought the dip at a lower cost basis all year.

Last month, I was down $18K. This month, I’m up $18K. So I’m right back to where I started. We’ll see what the rest of the year brings.

CurrentLast MonthChange2022 Goal
Overall investments$200,312$184,392+$15,920As much as possible
401k (contributions only)$12,500$10,500+$2,000$20,500
401k (overall balance)$32,156$28,125+$4,031As much as possible
Traditional IRA$104,425$97,167+$7,258xx (can't contribute)
Roth IRA$47,488$44,144+$3,344$6,000 (in contributions)COMPLETE!
Taxable brokerage + UTMA$9,830$9,147+$683$25,000 (total invested)
Primary home equity + appreciation$40,957$38,559+$2,398$20,000COMPLETE!
Credit card/HVAC upgrade$18,143$18,325-$182$12,000
Net worth in Personal Capital$238,918$220,660+$18,258$500,000 (overall goal)Track your net worth with Personal Capital

I’m up across the board this month. Though it’s slow and steady, it’s gradually moving in the right direction.

a house with a window and text

I wanna get over 50% again

I’m curious what the next month – and rest of the year – will bring. Between the Fed raising interest rates, inflation through the roof, and lots of geopolitical instability, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what shakes out.

August 2022 Freedom update bottom line

In the last 30ish days, I:

  • Added $2,000 to my 401k
  • Cross the $200K mark again with my investments
  • Kept investing in index funds every pay period
  • Got a bit more equity + appreciation on my house
  • Continued getting ready for a new baby!

Life’s been good – and super real. I’ve been plugging away to earn extra coins. While taking parental leave to spend with our new baby, I’ll figure out how to increase my income one way or another. It’s time. I need to feel like I’m moving up because now, I have to.

This year has been wild for the market with so many swings I can’t even keep up. I imagine I’ll be well distracted for the remainder of the year, but hoping the market is up when I have the wherewithal to check.

Until then, I’ll throwing everything I have into getting things ready this month. In late August, we’ll be in the zone of potential delivery, so my next update might be as a new dad for the second time. And if not, then  very anxious and excited but what else is new lol.

Thank you to everyone who reads these updates. It means the world to me. 🌌

Stay safe and scrappy out there! ✨


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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. It is a little depressing out there, watching inflation quoted as ~10%, but seeing real inflation of 50% or more on some items, e.g. food, that you have little control over, yet at the same time employers are holding salaries flat, or offering minimal raises. (I got a raise, but effectively make less now versus a year ago)

    The kiddo will be a blessing.

    The market will recover, and when it does, it will recover big-time!

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